The idea of the paper free business office has been heavily promoted over the last few years. At first glance, there’s a lot to be said for the idea of moving all of your documents to electronic format, but making the move to digital may not be a wise idea. There are a lot of good reasons to stick with paper.
Preventing Eye Strain
Most people find it easier to read paper documents than they do to work with electronic ones. Even relatively young people, who could be thought of as early adopters of technology, struggle with electronic documents. Surveys of students at Princeton University and Reykjavik University both indicated that students prefer learning on paper to using electronic learning aids, even if those aids are devices such as the Kindle, which are designed to emulate paper.
While passive screens such as those of the Kindle, behave a little like paper to the human eye, the lack of ability to flick quickly between pages and the slower note taking, hamper the learning experience. Traditional computer screens are even worse to use, because the flicker and glare can cause headaches, eye strain and discomfort. Paper can be read under any lighting conditions, does not rely on batteries, and is much easier for migraine sufferers to work with.
Backups and Reliability
Cloud storage is being heralded as the greatest innovation in business technology, but it is not without flaws. Cloud storage is a relatively immature technology, and problems are still commonplace. If you keep all of your data in the cloud, or even on a locally hosted central server, and your network goes down, then that could cause a lot of problems for your business. How many times have you heard employees complain about missing emails, or your system “running slow”?
Storing data in a centralised location leaves you open to problems with hardware failure, data corruption, and network outages. These problems can be mitigated by careful use of data backups and redundant systems, but there are some problems that technology cannot solve. Having a “low-tech” system that relies on traditional pen and paper record keeping will allow you to keep your business operational during Internet connection failures, power outages and other unforeseen circumstances.
Any computer system that is connected to the Internet is vulnerable to attack. Any data that is stored in digital form can be copied onto a memory stick or sent over the Internet. Data theft is a serious potential issue for all businesses. One way to secure your business is to minimise your exposure to electronic threats.
Data stored in non-digital formats can only be seen and manipulated by people who have physical access to your premises. In addition, it is much more difficult to make unauthorised copies of that data. Admittedly, there are some large databases that are best stored in a digital form, but it makes sense to minimise your exposure to risk for as much of your company’s data as possible.
About the Author
Crispin Jones writes on a number of business topics for WD Storage, a secure document storage company based in Nottingham. To connect further with Whitefields please feel free to visit them on Facebook.